Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

August 22, 2013

LEFFLER: Another encampment in the trenches

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Thursday I went to the University at Buffalo to cover President Barack Obama’s speech about the rising cost of college education and his plan to fix it.

I have no intention of discussing the policy initiative as presented. You can hear all about it elsewhere and come to your own conclusion.

Instead what I’m going to do is give you my take of Thursday’s event and provide some details you may not hear elsewhere.

My day started at 6:45 a.m. — at least two hours earlier than I usually roll out of bed — hoping to get to the University at Buffalo well ahead of the 9 a.m. media check in time. I nuked a cup of coffee and sent a message to Heather letting her know I successfully landed my feet on the floor. I turned the water on in the shower and set the temperature at the right level. And I stared at the mechanism of my shower. “How do I get the water to come out of the shower head,” I thought to myself. It took me awhile but I figured it out. I’m so not a morning person. Keep in mind that I get out of work between 1 and 2 a.m.

Heather picked me up around 8:15 and we headed to Amherst — via Tim Horton’s, of course. We got to UB just shortly before 9 and found the media check in. Without asking for our ID’s, they handed us our official White House Pool press passes and sent us to the security checkpoint. Equipment to the left, pocket items to the right, and bodies through the scanner. They checked over Heather’s camera gear to make sure it was really camera gear. They checked over my cell phone to make sure it was really a cell phone. I had placed my extra large triple triple on the table. They didn’t check to make sure it was coffee. It didn’t occur to me until later how odd that was. Security is tighter at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport than at a speech by the standing president (or former president, if you check my column from Oct. 23.)

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